Today for lunch I cooked the following recipe for my kids while they were home from school. My kids love berries, but I rarely cook with berries. I decided to offer them a treat today by adapting a recipe from one of my Polish cookbooks. My mother was Polish and cooking Polish food brings her to my thoughts and mind; however, I also wanted my kids to have some protein in their lunch. I adapted the recipe to include quinoa for protein, local honey to help boost the business of our local co-op, and used frozen berries picked by my family at a local farm earlier this year (and subsequently frozen). The recipe fed four of us (a dad, a middle schooler, an elementary student, and a toddler) lunch with seconds and still had enough left over to send with the kids for lunch at school tomorrow.
This recipe is adapted from the “Rice & Berry Casserole (babka ryżowa z owocami)” recipe from “Polish Heritage Cookery” by Maria and Robert Strybel. Various changes to the recipe are found here, but I highly recommend you purchase the cookbook and try out some of the recipes.
Rice, Quinoa, and Berry Casserole
- 3/4 c Quinoa
- 3/4 c Rice
- 1 1/2 c Milk
- 1 1/2 Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 pinches of Cinnamon
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 c Honey, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds of berries (blueberries are my family’s favorite, but I am betting other berries would be equally delicious, especially blackberries)
- Shortening to coat dish
- Rinse quinoa and rice to remove both the starch from the rice and the bitterness from the quinoa. Strain through a very-fine mesh strainer. Here’s the one I use…
- Cook quinoa and rice with milk and water. For the purposes of today’s photos, I used white basmati rice and cooked the rice in a rice cooker. This left browned portions that my family doesn’t mind, but cooking the mixture on a stovetop can remedy the issue if you do not like browned rice and quinoa bits.
- While rice and quinoa are cooking, bring 1/4 c of the honey and 3 eggs up to usable temperatures. I brought the eggs up to room temperature and heated the honey until it was easily pourable (but not hot enough to cook the eggs). Whisk together the 1/4 c honey, 3 eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375º F and use the shortening to grease an overproof casserole dish. We used a large casserole dish to help with portion control.
- Combine cooked rice and quinoa with egg mixture. Fold together until mixed, but do not overly mix. Divide mixture in half.
- Place half of the mixture into the casserole and flatten with a spatula or spoon. Place berries on top of first half of mixture and drizzle remaining quarter cup of honey over the berries. Top with remaining half of mixture.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Top with either a drizzle of honey or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.